Three leaders of an underground church in North Korea have been executed and 20 Christians sent to a prison labour camp in Yodok.
Sources say the arrests and executions were carried out in mid-May when police raided a house in Kuwal-dong, Pyongan Province, and arrested 23 believers who were gathered there. The leaders were tried and sentenced to death, and the authorities wasted little time in carrying out the executions. A Seoul-based group, the North Korea Intellectual Solidarity, confirmed the events.
North Korea is one of the most difficult places in the world to be a Christian. It is estimated there are at least 400,000 Christians, all of whom are living under constant threat of imprisonment, torture or public execution.
It is thought that 40,000-60,000 Christians in North Korea are in prison labour camps because of their faith. Such camps are notorious for brutal treatment, starvation and torture.